An establishment that is part of the fabric of Melbourne is the Hopetoun Tea Rooms in the heritage Block Arcade. The Hopetoun Tea Rooms are named after their founder, Lady Hopetoun, and were established in 1892:
The two drawbacks of the Hopetoun Tea Rooms are the queues and the prices ($8.50 for a take home vanilla slice). However, these are outweighed by the pros - a gorgeous heritage setting, fabulous cakes displayed in the window (made by a Jamaican pastry chef), and just a nice place for coffee, cake and a chat:
I have been there twice recently with my friend Sandra. I have tried the mango mousse cake:
which is absolutely devine if you like mango:
and the fig delight, a cheesecake like concoction:
For me, the mango mousse cake was the winner.
I enjoyed the cakes with the Snow White Tea Blend (apple, raspberry), but they serve a wide range of teas, wonderful cold drinks and coffee too.
The first time around, we had a white tablecloth, but there was no tablecloth the second time around - perhaps because they were too busy. It didn't worry me - I was there for the cake.
If you are in Melbourne and don't mind waiting a while in a queue (we waited around 20 minutes the second time around, but you don't have to wait if you book high tea), the Hopetoun Tea Rooms are worth a visit.
Hopetoun Tea Rooms
Shops 1 and 2
282 Collins Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Ph: 03 9650 2777